How to get a seat on the board of Directors

04 Apr 2017

How to get a seat on the board of Directors

No matter how young you are or how far you sit from the Board, here are the 8 key rules that will lead you there. 

1. Help your boss to promote

You can do so by working with him/her and speaking well of his/your achievements, while you train someone in your department to take over your present job. By doing these two very simple things, your promotion will be automatic because the pieces fit together and the transition seems evident for everyone.

2. Draw a long-term career plan

Day-to-day work doesn’t allow you to stop and consider internal options for advancement, so it’s key to have a clear overall objective. For example: “I want to be part of the board of directors within X years”. Plan your career as if it was a long-distance training, not a succession of different efforts. That way, if something happens and can speed up your progress, you’ll be prepared.

3. Know yourself…and be honest!

Identify your strong points and the areas where you should improve. Remember that it is more important to develop your strengths than try to eliminate your weaknesses: while it is crucial to identify them, and more importantly avoid repeating them, focusing on your strong points will enhance your professional value.

4. Keep up to date on market trends

For example, learn about “Blue Oceans” (innovation through uncontested market spaces) or emerging companies that will be tomorrow’s Champions in their sector, even though they are unknown today.

5. Challenge your own ideas every so often

There are some principles that have not changed since the time of Ancient Greece but every few years there are others that undergo disruptive changes and no longer make sense.

6. Develop your “personal brand”

Nurture your network of professional contacts by using the right networks at the right time.

7. Acquire experience

Having work experience in more than one area, market and country is definitely an advantage.

8. Finally… act!

Be the master of your professional destiny and start moving towards the place you want to reach.

Originally published in the Spring ’17 issue of the IE Business School magazine IDEAS